Rare Medieval Books and Manuscripts
Several rare and important books and manuscripts stolen from a London based auction house in 2016 have been recovered in Italy by Art Recovery International.
In a brazen early morning raid on the Mayfair gallery on 11 April 2016, thieves scaled the walls of an adjoining building to reach the roof and entered the building through a second floor window.
Once inside, and despite tripping the alarms, criminals made off with numerous rare books and medieval manuscripts that had been sold by the auction house awaiting collection, as well as others that had recently been consigned for sale.
Following the loss, Art Recovery International was appointed by the gallery’s Insurer to locate and recover the stolen books. In March of 2017, four of the books were identified during the due diligence process as the books were consigned to some of the most prestigious rare booksellers in the trade.
Christopher Marinello, CEO of Art Recovery International negotiated the release and return of the books from the various dealers and intermediaries who handled them and they were turned over to the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. After nearly two years before an Italian tribunal, the books were awarded to Marinello on behalf of the theft victims.
Marinello commented, “we are extremely grateful to the Italian Carabinieri and especially Mar. Magg. Oliviero Ridolfi whose efficiency and expediency in aiding victims of stolen property and cultural heritage is unparalleled.”
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers will be holding a symposium in New York on 5 March 2019 bringing together a range of experts and scholars from the antiquarian book trade, libraries, and investigative officials to discuss the issues of provenance and theft. More information can be found at ILAB.org.